The author states that collectively, American Jews regard themselves as first of all a religious community. However, the fact that American Jews have this self-image of themselves is not always reflected in their religious behavior or in an identification of all Jews with the synagogue. Furthermore, American Jews obviously consider themselves to be much more than just a religious community. The time has therefore come for a reassessment of our position as a people, for a new look at the structure of the Jewish community, for a new evaluation of that for which we are expending our monies and our energies. As a people, we have to cultivate the art of being Jews. This means a return to Jewish literacy, to a commitment to the values and ideals which characterize Judaism at its best. This means that Jewish communities and their central organizations will have to restore education and culture to a position of primacy in Jewish communal endeavor. For without vision, vision rooted in knowledge of Torah, conceived as the sum total of all that is best in Jewish tradition and learning, our people will not survive as
a creative force in America.